Pre-Raphaelite painter John William Waterhouse painted female characters from mythology and literature and belonged to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His parents were painters and he grew up in Rome where he absorbed the culture, rich history and a love for art.
Waterhouse s first art teacher was his father until he entered the Royal Academy at age 21. Waterhouse was inspired by the paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, whose depictions of classical, Roman landscapes and legends appealed to the young painter. He received his diploma from the Academy for his painting of A Mermaid.
Waterhouse s paintings often depict a romantic approach to the femme fatale, for example in La Belle Sans Merci and Hylas and the Water Nymphs. He also often painted a forlorn, sole heroine, such as The Lady of Shallot, one of Waterhouse s most famous paintings.
Waterhouse s academic and technical skill gained the respect of his peers and critics and his paintings were exhibited at the Academy even after his death in 1917.